FAITH NO MORE — Album Of The Year (review)

FAITH NO MORE — Album Of The Year album cover Album · 1997 · Alternative Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Album of The Year? I’d have to do some research to know if that was the general consensus in 1997, but no doubt this one would make a number of end-of-the-year lists of the time.

The first thing I noticed when listening to this album was how dark it sounded. Was it because they knew this would be their last studio album and they were upset by that fact? While I am more used to hearing Faith No More playing more high-energy music, I can say I am definitely a fan of the shift in tone and direction. Album of The Year contains much of the experimentation and variety that remained throughout the Patton years, plus it may be the heaviest album the group has released.

A good amount of these tracks are of the slower variety, giving Patton’s vocals much of the focus. “Last Cup of Sorrow”, “Ashes To Ashes”, “Path Of Glory”, and “Pristina” are among the songs that I think help set the tone of the album.

There are still numerous tracks on Album of The Year that maintain the band’s normally aggressive delivery. This includes the opening “Collision”, “Naked In Front Of The Computer”, “Mouth To Mouth”, and “Got That Feeling”. Tracks in this vein would not have been a stranger on their King For A Day album.

A few tracks in particular stand out:

“Stripsearch” musically is quite stripped-down. Some hard rock and metal fans might be turned off by such a song, but I loved this track right from the first listen. The song is uncharacteristically peppered with electronic percussion, and centered around a highly effective rhythm section groove. The main melody of the track is provided by Mike Patton bright falsetto delivery.

“Helpless” starts out as a rather dreary sort of ballad. The song builts in a strongly uplifting manner as it transitions to the powerful chorus with Patton’s layered vocals, getting heavier as it progresses. It’s one of those tracks that often gives me goosebumps.

“She Loves Me Not” is another out-of-character track for the band. It’s a bit of a doo-wap, 60’s R&B-style track that while not necessarily a favorite, is highly memorable. Definitely one of the more Patton-centric tracks, giving it the occasional feel of a solo effort instead of a full-fledged Faith No More album.

Album of the Year is an excellent release that I definitely recommend.
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